The Private Man

Attraction and dating information for all men

Archive for the category “About Me”

Alphabet Soup, Volume 1

Years ago I had a satirical website, Upchuck.com, about the city of Charleston, SC. I lived there on two separate occasions back in the ’90s and the second time around my ex-wife and I actually owned a home in the downtown area. The website was vaguely similar to The Onion in that I wrote amusing “news” stories about the stereotypical goings on in that wee historical city.

The website was quite popular and when the news media tracked me down I was interviewed and put on the front page (below the fold) of the Sunday Post and Courier, the local daily newspaper. The satire I wrote was also republished in the local free weekly, The City Paper. Three or four times, I used the “alphabet soup” format which I’m using for this blog post.

The format here you’ll see immediately. I don’t remember where I got the idea although I’m positive I copied it from another source. As I’ve been blogging quite a bit recently, I think it’s time I lightened up just a bit to get a break from all the serious stuff I’ve been scribbling this past week or so. You’ll recognize some words and concepts in this Alphabet Soup format, the Red Pill attraction and dating version.

Adrift – Where too many post-divorce men find themselves when they re-enter the dating world.

Bad Boy – Women still love this type of man regardless of age. See “Edge”.

Consistent – Too much of this is actually makes a man look dull and boring. Mix it up, guys.

Dating – It can actually be fun if you don’t take it too seriously.

Edge – This is a type of independent confidence that women find very attractive in a man.

Far – Even with Skype and other technologies, the long distance relationship is not realistic.

Gorecki – Take a date to a classical music concert. You’ll impress her and she has to dress up.

Handy – Not that kind of handy. A man should be good with tools and fixing stuff.

I – A pronoun to avoid during a conversation on a date. This goes especially for women.

Jump – Guys, if she asks, don’t. That’s for weak, obsequious doormats

Knowledge – There’s so much truthful dating advice in the Manosphere there’s no reason to be willfully ignorant.

Love – It gets qualitatively different as we get older and wiser.

Manipulative – We all have it in us. Keep it to a dull roar because men should be direct.

Organize – What to do if you’re doing a lot of dating with different women.

Politics – I don’t talk about such things nor should you on a date.

Qualify – Just because she’s got ladyparts doesn’t automatically make her a potential date.

Respect – Only give it to her if she’s earned it.

Sex – Why yes, adults do this. Giggity.

Tomassi – Are you reading Rollo? You should.

Uxorious – Guys, know this word. Don’t be like this.

Vivaldi – He didn’t compose 1500 concerti. He composed the same concerto 1500 times.

Wall – With age comes this phenomenon, for men and women alike. It’s easier for men to deal with it.

Xylophone – A man knowing how to play a musical instrument is a good thing.

Youtube – Yeah, I’m doing that. Check out this one. More to come.

Zundapp – German motorcycles are cool. Every man should learn to ride a motorcycle.

I’ll be using this format frofm time to time just to keep things interesting. If my commenters want to chime in with their own lists, I look forward to it.

[If you liked this blog post, support me through my Patreon. Gracias!]

 

Video Podcast 1 – Introduction

I’ve finally decided to add video content to my blog. After experimenting with sound and my phone as a video camera along with some help from a buddy (thanks Rafael!), I finally figured out how to make a decent video. My brother was also very helpful (thanks Bro!).

The video podcast is embedded below. As this is my first, it’s a bit rough around the edges. However, I will learn more and use more of the camera features and Youtube features to make the video podcasts better.

As I state in the video, each subsequent video podcast will focus on one particular attraction and dating topic for about 10-15 minutes. As I will be keeping the videos simple, it will be easy to just listen to the audio without losing the gist of the overall video podcast content.

It’s my hope to produce and publish one video podcast weekly. I will get better at it through practice and input from my readers. Everyone is welcome to comment here on my blog. I’m also letting all comments go through on Youtube. The nasty ones I will delete.

Going forward, I might try some other types of videos that are more personal. I think a guided video tour of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea (where I live) could be something fun. I would, of course, feature my ugly dog in such a video. Your ideas are welcome for future videos, as long as I have the equipment and skills for your ideas.

This is exciting for me because I will have an entirely different medium to get my attraction and dating advice to my audience. Thanks for watching.

Production Notes (I tried to keep things as simple as possible)

Camera:

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android smart phone (1280 x 720 resolution, other settings default to video camera)
  • 32 MB Micro SD card (set up specifies that videos are stored on memory card)

Sound:

  • Wired earbuds with attached microphone (no additional sound mixing done)

Other:

  • Tripod adapter for phone/camera (“Slik” brand full-size tripod)
  • Natural lighting through open windows

Editing:

  • Microsoft Movie Maker (also converts back to MP4 format)

Publishing and further enhancements:

  • Youtube

Workflow:

  1. Record raw video to Micro SD memory card in smartphone
  2. Copy video file to PC
  3. Open video with MS Movie Maker
  4. Complete basic editing
  5. Save video as MS Movie Maker project (optional)
  6. Save video as MP4
  7. Upload video to Youtube account
  8. Add Youtube enhancements (annotations with links)
  9. Save changes
  10. Preview video and make changes as necessary in Movie Maker or Youtube
  11. Copy Youtube link into new blog post editing area (as a separate line item)
  12. Publish new blog post with completed and embedded Youtube video

[If you liked this blog post and video, support me through my Patreon. Thanks!]

My Oil Rig Summer – Part II

[It’s strongly recommended to read Part 1 of this story from my young adulthood.]

The line at customs was now officially too short for my anxiety to cool. Bill and I had no permission to enter the United Arab Emirates despite previous assurances from the oil exploration company that all would be taken care off. I glanced again at Bill. He didn’t look back.

On the other side of the line of customs stations was a fairly large group of folks, none of them dressed like Arabs. It seemed as if a collection of men in western clothes but with darker skin were all who were waiting. Then I heard a voice from that side.

“Mr. Hansen! Mr. Justin! Mr. Hansen! Mr. Justin!” [That’s not Bill’s real last name.]

It took a second for me to comprehend that it was my name being hollered from over there. It was also Bill’s name. The man shouting our names was large, shiny, and obviously from the Asian subcontinent given his accent. I looked over at Bill and he smiled broadly at me. We were saved.

“I’m Mr. Hansen” I said loudly and the large man moved deftly to hand the customs agent one of two scrolls he was holding. This was my visa, a scroll? As I moved to take my place at the custom’s desk, the young customs agent was unrolling the large scroll, over a foot wide and twice as long. The agent was reading the scroll in a position that allowed me to see it too. I couldn’t read the elaborate document because it was written in beautiful Arabic calligraphy complete with decorative script in the margins. It was art masquerading as bureaucracy.

I looked more carefully at the unfurled scroll. There, surrounded by all those fancy Arabic words was my name, written in English. This made me official. I imagined that Bill’s visa scroll was much the same. The agent asked for my passport. He wasn’t polite about it but he did speak good English. With a hard look at my passport and again at the scroll, the agent stamped my passport and then stuck on adhesive stamp.

The young man started to roll up my visa scroll. “Can I have that?” I innocently asked as I pointed to scroll. Such an amazing souvenir that would have been. The agent glared at me malevolently. “No” and then he waved me on. I didn’t dawdle and so quickly moved on, clutching my passport. I looked to my right and Bill was also moving away and toward the large man who had been calling our names.

The man motioned for us to follow him and we did. He took us to the luggage pickup where Bill and I waited briefly for our baggage. The airport wasn’t large so it was easy to make our way to the next person waiting for us at the arrivals door. Before leaving, the large man told the next man that we were Hansen and Justin. The man who met us was tall and spoke with a thick Texas accent. He reached out his arm to shake our respective hands. His one arm. His other arm was gone from above the elbow and his short sleeve shirt did nothing to hide it.

“I’m taking you boys to the Holiday Inn. Your rooms are already reserved.” I don’t remember one-armed’s name. I do remember his accent and his brusque manner. It was about 11pm local time and it was quite dark despite . The Dubai night air was extremely warm, humid, and thick. The smell of the place was utterly unfamiliar. One-arm was driving a pickup truck and the three us were all sitting along the only bench seat as we drove along well-made streets lined with palm trees.

One-arm dropped us off at the Holiday Day. “You boys be in the lobby at 7AM tomorrow so I can drive you to the rig site.” Bill and I were jet-lagged and tired. I don’t know about Bill, but I was almost too excited to sleep, almost. Once in my room, I left notice for a wake-up call and actually managed a shallow sleep for a few hours.

Though hazy after all the decades, I recall be awoken by an odd singing through a very basic public address system somewhere outside the hotel. As I was to later learn, this was the Adhan, the Muslim call to prayer. When the sky lightened as the sun came up, I looked out the window. This wasn’t Kansas. I saw white minarets of the local mosque. The air had an orange hue and the thin, reddish dust in the atmosphere was obvious.

I gathered up my duffel bag and headed to the lobby. There wasn’t time for breakfast. Bill arrived to meet me soon after I hit the lobby. A few minutes later, right on time, the one-armed Texan showed up to quickly collect us into the pickup truck he drove. We drove northeast, close to the coast of the Persian Gulf which was occasional visible from the highway. The landscape was not exciting but the road was smooth and new. One-eye didn’t talk much. He had nothing in common with a couple of suburban college guys from the American Northeast. I was anxious but excited and didn’t say much, just took in this completely foreign land. Bill was chattering away about nothing, perhaps to hide his own anxiety.

After about an hour on the road, we drove through the small city of Ras al-Khaimah. It was a relatively modern place with throngs of men walking the sidewalks, many walking in pairs while holding hands. Two or three miles past Ras al-Khaimah, we turned right onto a dirt road that led through a grove of date palms and some rudimentary mud brick houses where it was clear that people lived. I was to later learn that the date palm grove caretakers resided in those almost primitive homes.

As we drove up to the entrance of oil rig compound, there was no derrick in sight. The derrick tower is the iconic image of oil exploration. At the entrance to the rig compound stood a uniformed guard, armed with an obvious AK-47. I thought to myself that it’s the Middle East and such weapons would be seen on occasion. One-arm drove into the rig compound and there was the drilling derrick, lying horizontal to the ground, clearly not yet hoisted into the vertical position. We were officially on the job site.

Those first few hours I don’t remember much. I do, however, specifically remember how the rig compound was laid out. Imagine four football fields laid side by side in a roughly east-west orientation. The entrance to the rig compound was at the west end. Once inside immediately on the left were four enormous generators, each about the size of a mobile home. The exhaust noise was enormous. On the other side of the access road was a temporary office and living quarters. This is where the “toolpusher” resided and did office work.

A note about the specialized nomenclature… like in any technical field, there’s all sorts of unique words and terms. The rig’s toolpusher is the day time rig supervisor, the boss. As for the operation of an onshore oil exploration drilling rig, I’m not doing into lurid detail but here’s some excellent background information, start from the linked page and read forward.

At the center west of the compound was the derrick and platform. Just north of it was a large, rectangular artificial pond about 12 feet deep and lined with canvas. Between the pond and the rig were the mud tanks. On the South side were the living quarters, a series of pre-fab huts, one group for the Pakistani laborers, a second group for the white folks who ran things and did more technical functions. That included me and Bill, each with our own room.

Our first week on the rig was wretched. Bill and I were given no real supervision so we merely got to watch the derrick tower raised into the vertical position. I was keen to be useful; Bill, less so. The real problem was the heat. This was summer in the Middle East. I estimated the daytime temperature to be around 115 fahrenheit. As the rig was only a few miles inland from the Persian Gulf, it was also humid. There was also the challenge of the people we were intended to work with. The toolpusher was reluctant to tell us what to do. The other white folks couldn’t even fathom what we were doing there having no real oil rigging skills or even official titles.

I was pretty good with tools and my hands. I had also made a point to read the books that Sedco had given me back when Bill and I went to Houston. When I could help, no matter who it was, I tried. The Pakistani laborers were a bit perplexed but accepted my muscles and ability to turn a wrench. The rig was still being prepared for drilling so there was a lot machinery to attach with so many bolts to tighten. But still, the daytime temperature was too much for me. I had made a point to talk to the toolpusher and after a few days, he appeared to warm up to me despite me being a “college boy”.

I requested to be put on the night shift, 6PM to 6AM. It was granted and I began working at night, out of the miserable daytime heat. The night shift was still hot and humid but bearable. Bill stayed on the day shift and for the next couple of weeks we only saw each other in passing. During that two weeks, the rig actually started to drill a hole in the ground. Of course, the biggest, nastiest job before drilling commenced was installing the massive blow out prevents (BOPs). So many huge bolts to be tightened.

I made a point to learn as much as I could and assist when I could. The mud guys explained how drilling mud worked and how it prepared and pumped. I helped tote big bags of mud powder. The driller showed me about Weight on Bit (WOB) and how to manipulate the huge brake level. I even went up the derrick to watch the derrick man stack the pipe strings (three pipes screwed together) in the pipe fingers. All the while, I heard stories of Bill trying to avoid work during the day shift.

One night just over two weeks into my contract, the toolpusher took me aside just as my shift was starting.

“Your friend was transferred to another rig”.

I didn’t know how to respond. Bill was no longer on Sedco Rig 96, he was on another Sedco rig somewhere in the United Arab Emirates. I continued on with learning and working for the next few days until again the toolpusher took me aside.

“Bill went home.”

I hadn’t laid eyes on Bill in at least two weeks so his return to the U.S. wasn’t initially a big deal. I continued to work my shift as the realization slowly sank in. The guy who got me out in the burning sands of Arabia had left me behind.

Part III is already in the works. Stay tuned.

[If you liked this blog post, support me through my Patreon. Thankyou.]

My Oil Rig Summer – Part 1

[Note: This is a personal story about an adventure I had overseas much like the first one I described. Do know that there aren’t any lessons in this story about dealing with the opposite sex.]

The Middle East geopolitics in the start of 1982 were bloody. The Iran-Iraq war was churning along in its deadly glory and Israel was set to invade Lebanon in hopes of vanquishing the Palestinian Liberation Organization. The early ’80s were quite chaotic. The hostage crisis in Iran had just ended. The Falklands War was there in 1982.

I certainly paid attention to the news when it was available. There was no cable TV in my college freshman dorm room. We didn’t even have a TV. My roommate and I had a land line phone in our room. This was the zenith of communications technology for college students at the time. The very concept of wireless communications was not even a consideration.

Before entering freshman year at Clark University, I had taken a year off after graduating highschool. It was a year full of adventure. My stay in Western Australia I’ve already written about.

There were also other interesting experiences including a stint as a ski bum in Summit County, Colorado; a motorcycle trip from Boston up towards the Canadian Arctic (the motorcycle was stolen in British Columbia); even a job in a state mental hospital. To my parents’ credit, they encouraged – to a point – these adventures. “Keep your options open” my mother always told me and my brother. I took that to heart.

Freshman year in college was fairly typical for me, an upper middle class young man from suburban Boston. I went to parties. I clumsily seduced a few college girls. I skipped a lot of classes. It was a very fun time for all us kids. There were friends and acquaintances I could have fun with. For me, the academics were easy to handle.

It’s time to introduce Bill. He and his roommate lived a few doors down from me and my roommate. Bill was an alright guy, just eccentric. One of his hobbies was to wake at the crack of dawn to hunt squirrels with his high-powered air pistol. Of course he dressed in camouflage. Bill was like me, a product of a snooty private high school. Unlike me, he came from serious Manhattan wealth as I was to eventually learn.

Bill was friendly with everyone in that part of the dormitory. He had no very close friends as did the rest of us freshmen and sophomores. He and I went drinking a couple of times but he was guarded in a happy kind of way. He laughed and smiled and came across as gregarious. Yet he volunteered nothing about his personal or family life.

The climate of central Massachusetts is cold and unfriendly in mid-winter. The sun sets early and the frigid temperatures are unyielding. Such a climate drives everyone indoors on weekends unless there are outdoor winter sports to be involved in. It was February of 1993 and I was sitting at my dorm room desk doing some reading. My roommate was out. I heard a knock on the open door. I looked up to see Bill standing in the doorway.

“Hey Bill”

“Hey Andrew!” He was excited about something and got right to the point. “Do you want to work on an oil rig this summer?”

I didn’t ask any questions, just looked at him. Bill was the kind of young man who seemed happy all the time and that meant it was too easy to completely discount what he said. I rather didn’t believe him. But on the off-chance he was telling the truth… “Sure”. I had quite few adventures during my gap year between high school and college. This could be another adventure. Suddenly Bill was gone. I went back to reading, not giving his odd question another thought.

A few days later, the scene repeated itself but with a different type of question from Bill. “Do you want to work in the North Sea, northern Thailand, off the coast of Africa, or the Middle East? You don’t have to answer now. Let me know in a couple of days, I have to tell my dad.” I was still rather incredulous with all this. In my mind, believability was not part of Bill’s question. Regardless, I put some fleeting thought into it.

A couple of days later I ran into Bill in a dorm common area. My fleeting thoughts led me to request an oil rig job in the Middle East. Surprisingly, that was his desire, too. I selected that region of the world because, well, it was exotic as possible. Also, working offshore really didn’t appeal to me. Bill’s rationale for working in the Middle East become clear a couple of months later when we were sweating in the blow torch heat of the Arabian sun.

There was a bit of talk amongst my dorm mates about Bill, me, and the upcoming summer adventure, if it were actually happening. It seems that Bill had asked a number of guys to accompany him overseas to work on an oil rig. None had answered in the affirmative except for me. I had the conceit of a “seasoned” adventurer so I secretly lorded over my dorm peers. It was easy because I seriously doubted that Bill would actually come through.

In March, the adventure became real. Bill came into my room. “We have to go to Houston for paperwork and stuff in the next couple of weeks. The company is paying for it.” Oh shit, this was real. This was really happening. I had a valid passport. Bill also had some more details. The contract was to be tailored just for us two. 28 days straight working 12 hours a day, seven days off, then another 28 days. For our efforts, we were each be to be paid $5000. That’s a great deal of money for a 1982 college kid.

I don’t remember if Bill told me the ultimate destination. Perhaps we were told when we ventured to Houston to meet someone at Sedco, the oil exploration company that was hiring us for the summer. No matter, we were to fly to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). While in Houston, we got a full house of vaccinations and some remedial reading about how an oil exploration drilling works. The book had lots of illustrations because it was clearly written for the high school crowd. I wish I still had that book.

The Sedco people told us that our tickets would be at the appropriate airports and we would get our visas when we arrived. Bill seemed oblivious to such details. I was more concerned about such arrangements. After having travelled overseas on my own the previous summer, I didn’t want to show up in the UAE without proper papers. This was a time when Dubai was definitely not a tourist destination as it is now.

Before heading to Houston, I did let the parents know my plans for the upcoming summer. While they all expressed concern, I did receive general support. At that time in my life I had four parents – mother, step-father; father, step-mother. Family life was certainly interesting for my brother and me.

Once my Freshman year ended in late May and headed back home, it was time to really get ready. In preparation for the work, I had to buy some work clothes including steel toed boots, coveralls, and a hard hat. Of course, such things were not available in hoity toity Newton, Massachusetts. I had to venture to next door Waltham, a much more working class suburb. There I found a store with all the accoutrements I needed for working on an oil rig.

I departed Boston for NYC on June 6, 1982. Things are a bit hazy from my time in Manhattan when Bill and I met up at his mother’s apartment at 135 Central Park West, a very swanky old place right across from Central Park. I think I might have spent the night there, perhaps not. The point of going to NYC was to get a flight to London. That we did. There was layover and then another flight, this time to Kuwait. I have definitely forgotten the airlines involved.

From London to Dubai with a quick stop in Kuwait, international geopolitics detoured the flight. The captain announced we couldn’t fly over israeli air space because the Israeli Defense Force had just invaded Lebanon. So, we detoured through Egyptian air space en route to our stop in Kuwait. Of course, landing in Kuwait meant being in relatively close proximity to another Middle East conflict, the Iran-Iraq war. At Kuwait, some supplies were loaded into the airplane and I got the chance to feel the desert air through the open door. The air was beyond hot, even though it was night-time. This was not a good sign for a young man from the north climes of New England.

The plane quickly took off for the short flight to Dubai. Today, the Dubai airport is a massive international affair and a major hub for flights all over that part of the world. In 1982, it was a modest, regional airport. Getting off the plane meant walking down stairs and crossing the concrete on foot before getting to customs. A slender young man wearing an Arab robe and headgear was the security guard at the entrance. He carried a small automatic rifle, a carbine actually.

Bill and I stuck close together. We were scared and awed at the same time. Still without our visas, we got in different lines to be cleared through customs. The line moved forward. We looked at each other, mild panic on our faces. The line moved forward again. We were clueless, just moving along with the rest of the passengers entering the UAE. They all seemed to have the appropriate papers to guarantee them safe entry. But Bill and I had no such papers. The oil drilling company had told us everything would be waiting for us. Perhaps, but that was on the other side of the surly looking custom officers.

The line moved forward again. We were now just one person away from the customs desk in our respective lines. I was panicking inside. I’m sure Bill was feeling the same. I didn’t expect this.

Here’s Part II

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That Visceral Reaction – How Predictable

“Well, they’re losers then!”

This remark was the result of a heated conversation with an older woman about what I do in this blog. I was describing how post-divorce men needed help with attraction and dating. Her reaction was typical. Woman loathe the idea of a man teaching and advising other men to be more attractive to women, to improve themselves in general.

The strong conversation continued. I loathe with all my energy when a woman insults a man merely because he’s trying to learn and improve himself. Do women expect men to just “get it?” Yes, they do expect that and they expect it to come naturally to men without any outside assistance. The PUA community catches a raft of shit for exactly this. The accusations that such information teaches tricks and manipulation. Such skills are neither tricks nor manipulation. They are perfectly reasonable social skills for a man to use when dealing with the vastly predictable behavior of the opposite sex.

“They’re not losers, they are men who got divorced and need help getting back into dating.” I was firm in my stand. I stopped long ago rolling over in matters that I’m passionate about. I am also profoundly suspicious about any woman who offers her opinions on men trying to re-enter the difficult world of post-divorce dating. I have a standard response that usually makes a woman’s hackles rise.

“You’re not a man and you don’t date women, you really don’t know” I told her firmly.

This is absolutely true. Women have no empathy for the masculine experience, especially if it involves adversity. Women simply don’t care about men as a group. Men have to rally around the positive elements fo the masculine imperative. My response flummoxed the woman so she changed tactics with a very predictable response.

“Why are you qualified?!”

I gave my standard response that I do research, I observe, and I have experience. According to this woman, I had to have a PhD of some sort just to give out attraction and dating advice. Perhaps a degree in physics would be OK? Why should I need some letters after my name to provide information about the predictable nature of human beings?

At this point in the conversation, the woman was furious. She tossed out some insults towards me, things I’ve heard countless times and simple don’t affect me.

“You’re a con man!” she hollered at me as I walked away.

Ah, that anger simply told me that I was right. This is something every man must realize: When a woman is angry at what you say, it means you are correct in your logical assertion. I don’t relish making anyone angry yet it sometimes happens because of my confidence in the truth of information I provide to post-divorce singles looking to meet relationship goals.

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Exchange Program To Western Australia – A Personal Story From My Youth

This post includes some stories of my life and some advice. It also includes some serious details of my younger life with real names and real schools, organizations, and places. There are good links ahead. I might regret this. Oy vey.

It was early 1980. I was a senior in high school. It was a fancy private high school outside of Boston, Concord Academy.  I had decided to take a year off between high school and college and needed to embark on some adventures during that gap year. Losing my virginity was part of that. At 18, I had at least had the foresight to plan a little bit ahead. This included applying for an exchange program through American Field Service (AFS), a good organization that had a strong presence at my high school. I got interested because I had a crush on the girl (Korean-American) who was the liaison to AFS. Almost every time I do something that involves travel or relocation usually involves a girl. Yeesh. That included up until my mid-40s.

Concord Academy was originally an all-girls high school. The Queen of Jordan, Noor Al-Hussein, was a graduate of my school as were both Kissinger kids. Sebastian Junger was a good friend in my graduating class and we had many outdoor adventures together. New England private schools are where the young elite swim upstream to spawn. I was just an upper middle class kid and a day student, not a boarding student. But still, there were parties in Manhattan penthouses my senior year because these young people were the elites. I’m only in touch with a few of them now. That was a long time ago.

I went through the AFS application process that included written essays and several interviews. I was prepared to use my own money but my mother and stepfather stepped up and funded me. I remember at the time it was $1,500 and that included airfare. Settle down readers, it was 1980 so it wasn’t that cheap considering inflation over the past 35 years. But after working every summer in high school and saving my money, I did have the available funds.

After being accepted into the AFS program, I was informed that I would be going to Perth, Western Australia to live with a family and attend the Church of England school in Guildford. My departure would be just a few days after I graduated high school. Yes, I would be re-attending an Australian high school after graduating from an American high school (#facepalm). I had purposely requested an English-speaking country because I knew my skill with foreign languages was profoundly limited. My high school French did not count.

As for that school, it was all male and I was required to wear a uniform as well as attended chapel services three times weekly. That was quite the change from my experience at an American private school where things were co-ed and not nearly as regimented. There was even corporal punishment there at Guildford Grammar.

For the record, the flight was this – Boston to New York to San Francisco to Honolulu to Auckland (NZ) to Sydney (AUS) to Melbourne to Perth. I was in the air for a total of 27 hours and ended up on almost the opposite side of the earth from Boston, my home town. All those to be on this exchange program in Australia first met up in San Francisco at a hotel. We were each assigned a room and a roommate. I vaguely remember a nice guy who shared the room with me for a night. I think he was from Vermont.

While there, I met some girls who were accepted into the program during the overnight San Francisco stop over. Sadly, I was seriously deep in the miasma of the unknown of how to operate a girl. I had little such experience in high school despite the fact that two thirds of my graduating class consisted of girls. However, there were only 63 graduating seniors at my school so it was all rather too close and we were all very circumspect about hooking up.

During the stop over in San Francisco I remember making out with one girl on my hotel bed while my roommate was out for a couple of hours. It was rather intense. But my serious attraction was to Jackie Kenyon, a comely blonde from rural Minnesota. Being so young, so hormonal, and so far away from home accelerated attraction to warp speed levels. It was clearly mutual between Jackie and me. There was no sex because of time, logistics, and my own insecurities.

I was now on the last leg of one of the longest airline journeys on the planet. While at the lengthy stop over in Los Angeles, I made a point to try to sleep at the terminal in a pile of carry on luggage . I had barely slept and remember how the other young people talked about me as I tried to sleep. Everyone was talking about me. It made me feel both uncomfortable and proud of myself but mostly uncomfortable.

What I didn’t know at the time is that I was the center of attention in the group for reasons that I now understand. I was being kind of cocky and funny with the group as I journeyed so far West that I crossed the international date line and the world became East. I guess that being on such an adventure – my first real international experience – gave me a sense of confidence that went against the “be yourself” mindset as taught by my mom. But still, I fell back on my “be nice” foundation to often during that experience. That was my comfort zone at the time.

From SF, we flew to LA to catch the Air New Zealand flight across the Pacific, via Honolulu. It was a fun group. We figured out how to to sleep across the vacant seats and even on the floor. Jackie and I were together for the whole flight. The flight crew was amusingly cooperative with it as we were a well behaved bunch. The flight was impossibly long although I had worse a few years later when I flew from Bangkok to London.

I flew into Sydney from Auckland, New Zealand. In Sydney, AFS had organized a stay over at some sort of young person’s camp. The jet lag was beyond awful. We all tried to stay awake through dinner. I have a distinct memory of a meeting where a small group of us was meeting with a local AFS volunteer. A very attractive girl in the group was asking questions as she sat next to me. She then pointed to me and asked “Is he going to be in my city?” I think I actually blushed when she asked that. No girl had ever been so forward with me and it freaked me out (NiceGuy™ training!). I wasn’t comfortable being the center of attention, especially from attractive girls. This particular girl actually escalated me. During a break in the meeting – we were all sitting on the floor – the girl talked with me about how she was a runner and complained about shin splints. I had no idea about that condition but she asked me to to feel her shins to find out. Oh, what I really needed to know back then.

Finally, the group dispersed to our various destinations within Australia. Jackie and I exchanged addresses for an eventual weekly correspondence via written letters. There was no electronic communications back then, just paper, pen, envelopes, and stamps. I communicated with family and friends back in the US with aerograms. I received a new letter from her every week for the three months I was there. I did meet up with her in Los Angeles during the return trip but we didn’t have sex. But was prepared with condoms which she referred to as “mouse sleeping bags”.

The flight attendant on my flight from Melbourne to Perth was young and attractive. I was sitting in an aisle seat and she paid special attention on me. Perhaps it was my accent. Perhaps it was my looks. I had no idea because I had the mind of a nice guy and had no idea that she was seriously flirting with me. In a flight of a few hours duration, she was actually kneeling in the aisle looking at the photos I had in my carry-on bag. For you youngsters, photos were actually produced on a special paper so as to be shared without the aid of technology. Damn, what a concept!

Back then, I didn’t know shit about how it all worked. Granted, it was a grand adventure and I was the final leg of a 27 hour in-flight experience from Boston, MA to Perth, Western Australia. I might have been fatigued or distracted. But dammit, I was 18 years old and horny as fuck! But I was still mostly clueless. Worse, I didn’t know how to flirt back. I was being polite and deferential to a young woman who was clearly interested in me. A player I was not.

The three months in Perth were interesting. The family I lived with were good people. There were indeed times of conflict. I understand the social mistakes I made with them and hopefully I have learned from them. It was an emotional time for me, for better and worse. School was quite the experience and I did make some friends over there.

I did a lot more when I returned home… working in the camping equipment store (EMS on Commonwealth Ave in Boston, being a ski bum in Summit County, Colorado, working in a state mental hospital, riding my motorcycle from Boston to northern British Columbia with hopes of reaching Inuvik via the Dempster Highway. The motorcycle was stolen and I was forced to hitchhike and fly the rest of the way after my bike was pinched. But those are stories for other blog posts. The zenith of my youthful adventures was working on a wildcat, oil exploration oil drilling rig in Ras al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates.

There’s also the story of my brother and I prowling about Asia in 1983 where I taught my brother how to ride a motorcycle on a road in northern Thailand. He did OK but he never rode a motorcycle again. In 1983, China was quite Communist and there were no private businesses.

[Want to know more? I’ve got a Patreon thing going on and your support really does motivate me.]

 

Twitter!

I like Twitter. I like how it forces a tweet to be short, concise, and hopefully unambiguous. If the message can be delivered effectively in 140 characters, it’s the mark of a good tweet. The hashtag idea can also add additional punch to a tweet. Fundamentally, it’s a very successful form of social media and it gets lots of attention. But note that Twitter receives disproportionate attention.

This is the serious problem. There are actually relatively few Twitter accounts when compared to the social media behemoths, here and abroad. World wide (as of research released in March, 2015), Facebook had 1.4 billion users. Twitter had 288 million users. That’s less than Instragram and more than Tumblr.

As well, The pace of Twitter’s growth has slowed much to the chagrin of its investors. But when a hashtag starts trending, it becomes news, even in the mainstream media. essentially, Twitter is the vocal minority who manage to get attention. It’s the loud and strident face of keyboard jockeys. Yes, that includes me to a certain extent.

Of course, such a limit on characters forces a Tweet to be too succinct and to be without subtlety. The guys over at Holistic Game talked about this in a recent podcast. Ironically, it was in response to one of my own Tweets. Skip to 38:30 to hear it. Their points are valid. As an aside, I don’t like when Manosphere guys use the word “nuance”. That word has been co-opted by a certain group of ideologues, just as they did with the word “gender”.

Because Twitter is so concise and so instantaneous it gets far more attention. It’s the zenith of soundbite messaging. A mainstream media outlet can quickly and lazily scan trending hashtags for a quick and totally throwaway story. As well, the famous can reach out to their vast hordes of followers for a quick hit of attention. Well, yeah, I follow Charlie Sheen on Twitter. Hell, even the Pope has multiple Twitter accounts based on the language of the outgoing tweet. Oh, wait, I shouldn’t have said “hell” in that statement.

Despite it’s disproportional impact on social media, Twitter is useful for getting a message out, even if incredibly short. A good hashtag and/or link can go a long way to reach many people, especially through the retweet feature and to a lesser extent, the favoriting feature. Personally, I prefer that my own tweets are retweeted, not favorited.

Naturally but unpleasantly, Twitter has attracted lots of spam tweets. Tweets from popular Twitter accounts too often includes links to clickbait websites. Here’s a tweet I received moments ago: “It Was Just A Wedding, Until THIS Surprise Blew Everyone A…” I won’t bother clicking on the link because such a tweet is obviously a clickbait trap. Some Twitter accounts are much more clever. These smart accounts tweet out funny and thought-provoking things but then sprinkle in clickbait tweets. @Meninist is very good at this. I still follow that account but have learned how to ignore the clickbait traps.

Twitter is also very effective at attracting online insults. Ideologues clash frequently and personally. Such clashes get lots of media attention but are essentially harmless but sometimes disturbing. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is an old saying and it directly applies to social media.

Now is the time to pitch my own Twitter feed, @man_private. I’ve got over 2,700 followers and it’s been about four years of doing this. I announce when I have new blog post (actually it’s done automatically). I also research topics to post interesting links so my followers and other bloggers might find good content. Of course I Tweet out original Tweets.

Amusingly, my tweets which I think are great are mostly ignored and my of-the-cuff tweets get all sorts of attention, go figure. I do urge my readers to sign up for a Twitter account and follow me. If a new follower is also tweeting cool stuff, I’ll follow that person. Twitter is a mutual thing. Hint, hint, @RealCMcQueen. For you writers out there, writing a tweet is an excellent way to improve your writing and editing skills.

I’ll see you on Twitter but I will continue to blog here, as well.

Note: If you’re new to Twitter, here is a good resource.

[If you liked this blog post, support my efforts through Patreon]

Request For Questions

Inspired by this Illimitable Men blog post, I am requesting that my readers send me questions about post-divorce attraction and dating or any subject where curiosity lies.

Some questions I will answer publicly (with permission) through a mail bag blog post or privately with an email from me. Please note, I suck at relationship advice. I have some ideas about relationships but I will likely defer to those who have much better advice.

So, shoot me some questions either via email or with a comment below. Hell, I’ll even answer personal questions, within limits. My email information is here.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Patreon For Me – Yeah, I Went There

One of the things about going through a seriously life-changing event is the realization of priorities. Despite my medical bullshit, I’ve got some options that the vast majority of middle age guys simply don’t have. Before, I was not keen on pursuing those options. Yes, I made some half-hearted attempts in the past. Yet I always found myself distracted from those attempts because I was still convinced that I needed to be a cube monkey, a wage ape.

Yeah, I did real well with that. #facepalm

So, I’m pursuing other options and crowdfunding is giving me that option. Yes, I’m doing Patreon. The Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) have used Patreon quite effectively but what’s to prevent an ordinary Red Pill blogger like me from using that same resource? Illimitableman is doing much the same and it seems to be working for him.

So I’ve launched a Patreon effort. I’m asking for sponsorship not on a monthly basis but on a per blog post basis. Eventually, I’ll be doing podcasts to provide other options for my readers to receive my material. Monthly subscriptions are fine. I know myself and my history of getting articles published in the old school print media. This is great motivation for me.

There’s a lot to accomplish. I need your help and your incentive. What this means is that any new blog posts will first be through Patreon and then immediately published here. There is no obligation to subscribe to my Patreon. However, such a subscription motivates me highly and there is a rewards package. I won’t stop Tweeting, of course.

My passion really is to help post-divorce singles meet their relationship goals. I’ve been at this for years. I think it’s time that I use the resources of crowdfunding to help me move to the next step. It is not my intent to get rich. I simply want to have the necessary time to truly make the effort to help singles.

When you click on this Patreon link, you’ll get more details. Thanks in advance. My readers are my greatest resource.

A Man’s Adversity Is His Test For Women

As everyone knows, I’m dealing with a serious medical condition that’s ultimately fatal. Very recent changes to my health status have made things even more challenging. When I get the results from some medical tests, I’ll share here.

When I tell the women in my life about all this, I get some interesting responses. Most women simply don’t want hear my bad news. This doesn’t suprise me and nor does it bother me. As I have learned about human behavior I have also learned that women are mostly selfish. They want life to be about themselves. It’s a solipsistic point of view. A man facing serious stuff is a boat anchor on their lives.

Again, this doesn’t bother me. It’s my job to deal with the adversities that face me. But I’ve found it very illuminating regarding how the women in my life react to what I’m going through. The few who really care are incredibly sympathetic and supportive, even it’s beyond their comfort zone. These women really do care and it’s comforting to me. The rest… eh, they’ve made their motivations clear. Relationship material, they are not, even as friends.

There are two take-aways from my unique experiences:

1. Men should shut the hell up about their adversities when talking to women even if those women claim to be friends. Yes, this is cold and tough advice. However, there is a caveat here. If a man has faced an adversity and overcome it, he can bring it up. He shouldn’t make a huge deal of it. Rather, it should be a subject mentioned in passing.

2. If a woman is not emotionally invested in you, she will not care about your adversities unless you’ve overcome those adversities. She only wants to be entertained by you or that you are generous with her. Without that emotional investment, she will completely eschew your travails because, fundamentally, it’s all about her, solipsism 101.

As I’m over a certain age, I have gained insight into women also of a certain age. Many times I’ve read about the complaints from single women regarding men – “All they [men] want is simply a nurse or a purse”. That’s honest and understandable. On the flip side, men simply want youth and beauty, regardless of the men’s age or health. But he must have something to offer just as the women must have something to offer.

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